Atlantic Canada (along with Saint Pierre-Miquelon) is a region like no other with its rich history, unique cultures, incredible landscapes and diverse wildlife. And there is no better way to explore these five provinces and neighbouring French islands than by sea.
As the place where people of the world came full circle, you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere with a more diverse human history. We visit lands where native peoples including the Maritime Archaic Indians, Dorset, Beothuk, Innu, Inuit, Algonquin and Mi’kmaw lived, worked and thrived over thousands of years. We explore L’Anse aux Meadows, the only authenticated Norse site in North America, and walk among the remnants of a Viking village dating to ~1000 AD. The coastlines here are dotted with the New World’s earliest European settlements, many of them still inhabited by descendants of those intrepid “livyers”. Experience a little slice of Europe itself as we visit Saint Pierre-Miquelon – a thriving outpost of France on the very edge of Canada. We take time to visit historic sites such as the Basque whaling station at Red Bay (Labrador), Fort Louisbourg (Nova Scotia) and two of North Americas’ oldest cities (St. John’s & Quebec City). In fact, our Atlantic Canada cruises include visits to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the region.
The cultures here are varied and layered – Mi’kmaw, Algonquin, Irish, English, Scottish, French, Quebecois & Acadian traditions; and the unique local cultures that have grown and flourished in these remote corners of the continent. Our small expedition ships visit quaint and isolated communities that other tours cannot, where culture and tradition are best preserved and experienced. Our expeditions teams include local experts and ambassadors, so opportunities to learn from locals are ever-present – from onboard lectures to expert-led hikes, and quiet chats with community residents to raucous kitchen parties filled with traditional music. The regional cuisines are also distinct and wonderful, and we have plenty of opportunities to sample it throughout our travels. Our celebrated Taste of Place culinary program (Newfoundland Circumnavigation) showcases not only the unique regional dishes and flavours, but also the people who create them – from fishers and foragers to chefs and homemakers.
Traveling by sea also allows us to appreciate the incredible landscapes and scenery of Atlantic Canada and Saint Pierre-Miquelon in ways that most visitors cannot. Remote coastlines, isolated islands, rugged cliffs and majestic vistas are our constant companions during these expeditions. Imagine sailing through a towering fjord enroute to a tiny Newfoundland outport, touring tranquil bays and coves of Cape Breton by zodiac, or strolling along the remote sand dunes of Sable Island as wild horses frolic along the beach. We explore the incredible geology of Gros Morne National Park, hike the spectacular highlands of Cape Breton and admire the beautiful red sandstone cliffs of the Magdalen Islands. There is stunning scenery at every turn, whether you are on deck or on land.
And what’s an expedition cruise without exciting animal encounters? The pristine, natural environments of Atlantic Canada are home to a diversity of marine and coastal wildlife, and our expert guides will help you spot as many as possible. Be dazzled by up to a dozen species of marine mammals including whales, dolphins and seals from the wild North Atlantic to the beautiful St. Lawrence waterways. Stand in awe of thousands of Northern Gannets and other seabirds at the incredible colonies of Bonaventure Island. Watch Puffins “clown around” outside their burrows. Spot the endemic “Ipswich” Savannah Sparrow disappear into the white sands of Sable Island for which it has evolved a unique camouflage. Search for moose, caribou, bear and foxes on our many land-based excursions.
Which of our wonderful cruises to Newfoundland and the East Coast will you join?